Before summer disappears completely, maybe it’s time to plan a trip to Europe.
When you stay in one of these luxurious European eco spa resorts, you’ll never need a “vacation from your vacation”. Perfectly situated to explore Europe’s most beloved regions from Tuscany to Spain’s Costa Blanca, imagine coming back from a river cruise or wine tasting to float above the sea in healing thermal waters or indulge in an energy balancing massage.
These 8 luxurious eco spa resorts rejuvenate your body and soul while you experience the European vacation of your dreams.
Dreaming of Tuscany? Pair your trip to Val d’Orcia with the healing properties of one of the world’s most famous thermal baths. Your internal dialogue will sounds like this, “Should I soak in the thermal hot springs, book a facial, meditate in the Grotta del Filosofo, do yoga with Tibetan bowls or take a steam bath with Tuscan herbs? Oh wait, there’s an e-bike tour to a medieval hilltop hamlet and truffle hunting.” Decisions. Decisions.
Healthy addictions begin like spending your entire day in a bathrobe, a personal sommelier selecting wines for each course, and jumping naked into the cold plunge pool after the Finnish sauna ritual. Such is at the Adler, where just a 10-minute walk from the historic Bagno Vignoni, the very best of Tuscany is at your fingertips.
Tell any Italian you’re staying at the Regina Isabella and they’ll say che bello! and wax on about how lucky you are. Beloved for its La Dolce Vita chic, guests the likes of Charlin Chaplin, Clark Gable and Liz Taylor put the Regina Isabella permanently into the hearts of Europe’s jet set crowd. But it’s not just the glamour and film festivals that keep celebrity and royalty coming back. The Regina Isabella’s thermal bath and spa’s beauty secrets keep the glamorous gorgeous. Italians call it fanghi, which is mud infused for six months in the hyper-thermal waters of Lacco Ameno, studied by famous scientists such as Marie Curie for its curative properties.
Built on ancient Greek-roman ruins, the spa takes a serious holistic approach to your total health in a variety of east-meets west–meets curative thermal water treatments. Europeans come for classic mud treatments where you are submersed then wrapped in it. You might feel an invigorating energy that lasts for hours. Another spa favorite is the Total Cleansing Facial using Lacco Ameno’s thermal mud and water.
After your morning mud bath, slip on your bikini and enjoy a fresh Mediterranean seafood lunch and champagne personally delivered to your sunbed on the water. And if you booked a room in the Royal tower, enjoy a private thermal spa on your balcony at sunset overlooking the Bay of Naples.
Funky, bohemian, authentic and ancient. VAIR Spa flirts with your soul. Spa director Patrizia Bartolin says, “We constantly conduct experiments of self-exploration through new cognitive experiences and synergies based on what is lived and thought through the body.” Indeed, not too many spas have a Psychosomatic Wellness Lab and a resident shaman. Certainly, you can book a traditional massage or facial. But if you’re feeling curious and want to dive deeper into the mysterious of your soul, in-between working on your tan at Puglia’s pristine beaches, touring its Baroque architecture and Neolithic sites – this is the place.
We are what we eat. So best make it delicious and macrobiotic. If you want a healthy lifestyle revamp and to learn the curative powers of live food, there is no more beautiful eco spa than SHA. Its sexy sleek white-on-white décor and gorgeous views feel more like a sexy Ibiza vibe than a wellness clinic. Founder Alfredo Bataller Parietti bases his SHA Method on the “the healing power of proper nutrition”. After suffering 30 years from severe digestive problems, Parietti healed his condition not by pharmaceutical drugs but with a macrobiotic diet. Drink in the views of Alicante’s pristine Costa Blanca beaches below, take a day trip sailing, tour the villages or shop for local fashion. Or slip on something sexy and shake your moneymaker at one of Spain’s famous summer nightlife hotspots. Beautiful both inside and out, SHA is the proud winner of the Premio Verde (Green Award) from the José Navarro Foundation.
It’s not often that you can float above the Bay of Naples with a view of Mt. Vesuvius in healing thermal water while getting a foot massage from a cascading jet. But such is at Small Luxury Hotels of the World’s San Montano Resort and Spa. Perched on a promontory point, its thermal pools offer unlimited 360 views of the gorgeous island of Ischia. Whilst inside its Ocean Blue Spa you won’t miss out on the gorgeous views either as each of the new rooms offers floor to ceiling windows that create an inside-outside infinity pool effect. The walls are covered in gorgeous framed slices of energetic stones and crystals. And the spa’s treatments center around Ischia’s natural healing volcanic water, which has been a part of ancient Roman and Italian culture for so long (2000 years!) that doctors still prescribe thermal treatments and the Italian government covers it.
Whether guests opt for beauty treatments or to heal actual aliments with the island’s thermal mud, and holistic prescriptive paths, at the San Montano one day melts beautifully into the next. From champagne breakfasts overlooking turquoise water to floating in the thermal water, tanning on sunbeds, and healing mud treatments when it’s time to go, you’ll still feel like your floating in the clouds above the sea.
Lake views, snowcapped mountains and old world glamour. At the Cinq Monde Spa in Lausanne’s Hotel Beau-Rivage Palace you can experience ancient beauty rituals from around the world. From the Middle East and Polynesia to China, India and more the founding husband and wife team Nathalie and Jean-Louis Poiroux searched the world for natural spa products and treatments based on ancient traditions and tradition pharmacopeias. In the fresh clean air of the Swiss Alps, you’ll be renewed by the eco spa’s beauty rituals surrounded by 4 hectares of manicured gardens on Lausanne’s historic lakefront. Dedicated to preserving the 5 worlds of ancient tradition Cinq Mondes supports the Art of Living Foundation’s Gift A Smile program that has helped build 301 schools in India where 30,000 children received an education.
It’s not everyday that a working spa becomes a ancient Roman museum. But that’s what happened in 2007 when the Nun Assisi Relais dug to expand the Saint Catherine monastery originally built in 1275. They uncovered ancient Roman ruins dating back to the 1st century BC. So, change of plans and they constructed a simpatico spa within the original Roman ruins showcasing six ancient limestone pillars and ancient cisterns. Here you can also take the Nun Path. No vows necessary. Rather it’s an invigorating sequence of the spa’s Tepidarium, Caldarium, Sudatorium, and Frigidarium. So, don’t wait until you’re in Rome to do as the Romans do. Even if you’re day tripping to Assisi, indulge in their Spa + Dinner package at their gorgeous 0-Kilomoter organic restaurant overlooking the Medieval Fortresse of Assisi and olive groves. Literally, it’s the perfect way to soak it all in.
It’s new, eco, and gorgeous. The Six Senses Douro Valley spa takes full advantage of its vine covered hills with wine-based treatments and homemade spa products such as Nutritious Grape Seed Body Scrub made from the surrounding vines and organic herb garden outside the spa’s door. At the Alchemy Bar you can create your own scrubs and masks from medicinal and healing plants harvested from the valley. The spa itself was constructed from sustainable elements such as: slate, moss, and wood. And when not at the spa, you’re already in Portugal’s historic Douro Valley. Cruise down the Douro River with a glass of local wine in hand and drink in the view.
So, forget about being a weary traveler. When you stay at these eco spa resorts not only will you get to see the very best of Europe but you’ll also have that “I just got back from the spa” glow your entire vacation.
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Photos courtesy of: VAIR Spa, Regina Isabella, SHA Wellness Clinic, Cinq Mondes, Beau-Rivage Palace Hotel, Hotel Adler Thermae & Relax Resort, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Nun Assisi Relais Spa & Museum, Six Senses Douro Valley Resort